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Friday, June 18, 2010

Dressing the Bride: Going Back in Time

Growing up I loved vintage inspired styles. I was lucky that my mom loving handmade most of my clothes to my design specifics. The designs “we” created that looked best (that is, I'm not embarrassed to show friends photos of) were vintage looks.

My favorite dress? The one I wore for my 8th graduation luncheon. It was a 1950s-inspired dress with wiggle skirt. (By the way if I had this number in my closet right now I'd probably never take it off.) This is the best photo I have of me in the dress. Please ignore the horrible glasses.
Personal Photo: Image was taken by my mom. 
There were designs that weren't as flattering. Think 1980s Gunne Sax. Lots of lace. Lots of ruffles. Too much material, too detail for a curvy petite frame. Note that had I listened to my mom I wouldn't wince now when I look at some of those photos. I can admit it now – I’m not a rebellious teenager anymore – but I really should have listened to her. It’s not just Father Knows Best. Because I love you all, here are photos of me in ruffly tops.
Personal Photos: Image on the left was taken by my mom. Image on the right was professionally shot.

So why am I talking about what I wore growing up? Well the search is on for my getaway outfit (as well as accessories for our 1950s inspired photo shoot). And well based on those junior high and high school experiences, I've learned that some vintage looks just don't work for me.

Why? Let me summarize. I'm 5'3". Most styles are designed for those 5'7" and taller. I have an hour glass shape with a short waist. Most styles are designed for those with more modest chests and long waists.

Styles that Vivien Leigh, a 5’3 ½” tall actress, don’t always work for me. (Vivien Leigh is best known for her role as Scarlett in Gone with the Wind.) She was lucky enough to be blessed with a longer torso than me.
Image of Vivien Leigh taken by Peter Stackpole for LIFE and used in accordance with license. Other two images are personal photos: image on the left was taken by my mom; image on the right was professionally shot.

Ever since I worked at Victoria’s Secret, back when they had a dress code (shoulders covered at all times; modest necklines; dresses or skirts at least to the knee; no bare legs; and 2-inch heels), I’ve been very conscious of how I look in clothes. I also have a long list of  Style Guidelines for Curvy Petites
based on Tim Gunn's Guide to Style that I follow almost religiously.

Hopefully we'll find something that works for everyone.
    Are you getting outfits for your bridal shower and going away that match the theme of your wedding?

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